The pressure is building

Two young women were talking yesterday evening at the bus station. After the last day of the national graduate’s orientation programme, they were heading back to their places.

One is a Dzongkha honours graduate, the other completed bachelors in English and Political science from India. Besides the expensive kiras they were wearing, there is one thing very much in common- their concern for jobs.

One has decided to work in Qatar, a prospectus she believes is more realistic. The other doesn’t know what to do. She has not passed the preliminary examination to sit for the civil service common examination. She will come back in a week and keep an eye on the vacancies.

With the NGOP over, more than 2,700 graduates will now start hunting for jobs to start making a living. The government will be able to absorb only 434. That is not even a quarter. Some of the graduates are already employed, but that is just a handful. And we have graduates from last year and the year before waiting for openings.

Despite trying hard, the government had not been able to create more openings because of the sheer number of young people entering the job market. This is excluding those dropping schools at various levels and the technical institute graduates. Graduates are told every now and then to look beyond the government for jobs, but the openings are very limited there too. The private sector has their own problem and cannot employ the thousands of people entering the job market on a yearly basis.

The pressure is building. Not long ago, what is called ‘professional graduates’ had no problem getting jobs. The number of young people completing studies in engineering, architecture, IT is increasing and even engineers and architects are left to fend for themselves. The scope may be better for them as the private sector has skilled people to pick from the market, but jobs are not guaranteed for them either.

From now until the next NGOP, we will see many graduates run from pillar to post looking for jobs, doing internships and building their skills to outcompete competitors. A concern of graduates, which they let ministers know recently, is nepotism and favouritism when graduates compete for jobs. Jobseekers accusing of favouring relatives or friend’s relatives has been rampant indicating that such trends could be happening.

What the government could do, if not able to create jobs, is to create a level playing field. There are strict labour rules on recruitment, but not implementing could lead to creating a discouraged and frustrated lot of young people.

Unemployment is a global problem experienced even by developed countries. There is no straight answer to the ever-increasing problem. In the end everybody should work together to look for solutions.

If the private sector is exploiting workers, the pressure will increase on creating more government jobs.

3 replies
  1. MIGNIEN
    MIGNIEN says:

    Always pleased to read comment of IRFAN
    The problem of unenployment for recent graduates is rhe loss of their skill after about 6 months of unemployment . How to solve that problem ?
    First , the GVT would promote vocational training course inside business affairs ; by exemping taxes over the young worker .
    The only way that even developped country have found is to implement huge works which need many jobs :

    I quote in my comment “PM SPEAK TO GRADUATES ON SOVEREIGNTY” of sep 7

    – build a cog railway network ( creation at least of 1000 skilled jobs )
    – build an wineyard industry
    – build slaugter houses near breeding areas with a chain up to producing prepared meals .

    Sovereignty is nothing without a so great problem of unemployment .
    And i fear that many youngs who want to be civil servant are looking for “cushy jobs” .

    The country lack of entrepreneurs mind to take part of the task force ; that a danger for the independance of the country ; there is too many expats ( the last figure i know is 50.000 , a majority of indian workers ) because graduates wants only to become “wihites sheeves” or have “a desk work” but dislike to be “blue collar” that the country need the most .
    Druk holding investments and Loden foundation have collaborate to help entrepreneurships .
    So the possibility of helping business creator exist . But it lacks volonteers !! Go on youths , dare to create .
    jcmignien@orange.fr

  2. irfan
    irfan says:

    If it’s the hottest period in the country from the year 2000 to 2013 in the history of last 600 odd years as some researchers have found out; the Bhutanese graduates in last 3 to 4 years are already feeling the heat. It’s a primary goal to improve literacy rate, but the basic literacy related skills are highly demanding to learn in today’s education. In India, even the ‘professional graduates’ find their education certificates expiring within 6 months time if not matched and absorbed by a suitable job. The competition may not still be that punishing in Bhutan, but employment can become the issue dealing with unemployment.

    In certain developed and developing economies, people still prefer to earn handsomely to invest and retire early, some even in their mid 40s. Certain professions including well paid competitive sports don’t allow one a very long career. Many does find time and resources to re-start fresh even retiring from one profession. But that’s not an issue when Government is the employer. By the time one retires, it’s probably too late to start fresh and new.

    There are times to wish that our highly trained and skilled senior professionals were able to contribute a lot more post retirement. Education can be one such sector when it has become a must for all and yet, to be educated neither create a job nor absorbs a job vacancy. Should we have our highly experienced resources educating from the primary school levels or it should be left for fresh starters to experience jobs! The symptoms of unemployment as a serious economic problem may have its roots in the resources meant for and available to employment. To employ the knowledge and skills towards employment remains the biggest challenge for today’s graduates in difficult economies.

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